HYPERVIOLENT is yet another retro-FPS, albeit one that actually leans into classic gameplay mechanics as much as the aesthetic style. It’s creepy, gory, and challenging, and often felt like a hybrid of DOOM 64 and System Shock 2. The focus is clearly on weapon choice, ammunition management, and your aim, but there are light RPG elements and survival-horror vibes.
Narrative and presentation
Events kick off when your character responds to a distress signal from Commodus Asteroid 27-C – a mining colony run by the oppressive Intrepid Earth Coalition. They extract a rare and valuable but poorly understood substance known as Nihlium; however, Facility Director Davolt has clearly been after an even greater prize.
Arriving in an eerily quiet and abandoned docking bay, you’ll soon discover the facility is in the midst of some sort of outbreak driving its inhabitants to extreme violence. What follows is a gradual descent through several sectors to find and dispatch patient zero.
Unexpectedly, HYPERVIOLENT puts real effort into the storytelling. Sure, there is a voiced AI and rare survivors for exposition dumps, along with dozens of lengthy computer logs to read – many optional, some essential for door codes – but there are also cutscenes and environmental storytelling that make great use of the limited 3D and sprite-based hybrid visuals.
It just remains to be seen if HYPERVIOLENT has any ideas beyond traditional cosmic horror tropes.
HYPERVIOLENT doesn’t deviate wildly from classic FPS templates. Regardless of the narrative context, you still need to blast and bludgeon your way through a bloodsoaked, labyrinthine space station – traversing engineering, administration, hydroponics, and medical labs – hunting for colour-coded keys, keypad codes, and end-of-level elevators.
Standing in your way are the deranged or reanimated crew, which you dispatch with an assortment of familiar weapon types – think batons, pistols, a shotgun, machineguns, grenades, and a rocket launcher.
That said, there are three elements that give HYPERVIOLENT the potential to stand out in a saturated indie genre.
The first is the deliberate pacing and tension-building atmosphere. HYPERVIOLENT is traditional in the sense each level is populated by enemies you’ll encounter as you explore, but the pacing fluctuates between tense exploration and bursts of quick, (hyper)violent combat. Similarly, HYPERVIOLENT is often content to let you backtrack unimpeded through gore-strewn corridors, while other times infrequently-used scripted events will spawn new enemies to keep you on edge.
The second element is fast and brutal combat. Every attack – be that a zombie swipe or plasma ball – does significant damage. Staying mobile, backing up into chokepoints, and using corners for cover feel essential – especially given the scarcity and limited effectiveness of healing items.
Thankfully, the same holds true for you, so one or two headshots will drop most foes – especially if you’ve found a few secreted-away damage enhancement mods – or, if you’re flush with ammunition, you can dual-wield and get in close to finish a fight quickly.
The last element I enjoyed was the survival-horror-style resource and inventory management coupled with manual save stations.
So long as you’re hoarding powerful weapons and sensible about switching between melee and ranged weapons based on the threat, HYPERVIOLENT is one of those games in which you’re always just scraping through to the next save point (or infrequent autosave).
You’ll come to love or loathe the inventory system – which doesn’t pause the game – as you’ll often find yourself sifting through accumulated weapons and tossing away duplicates with depleted clips.
Of course, HYPERVIOLENT is in Early Access so there are both optimisation and gameplay issues that need work.
The first and most obvious are the performance and audio issues. Despite an i7 3.30GHz CPU, 8GB RTX3070, and 16GB RAM, holding the target 60fps framerate was uncommon. Large frame rate dips were particularly noticeable as they were accompanied by a drop in game speed that, in turn, resulted in desynchronised audio – an audio mix that also needs work as the directional audio and volume levels are all over the place.
When it comes to gameplay issues, there were some obvious pathfinding issues that make it easy to trap enemies on corners and in doorways, but the most frustrating was hit-scan enemies with near-instantaneous reaction speeds, an excessive damage vignette, and several weapons so inaccurate the crosshair was more of a suggestion.
Equally problematic were some basic commands and inventory management issues. Although I appreciate the dual-wielding setup, quick-swapping weapons and reloading feels unnecessarily fiddly as you have to scroll or hold a key before clicking the appropriate mouse button.
If you want to change your loadout through the inventory screen, you’ll discover there’s no quick way to identify your modded weapons (maybe a visual cue?) and accidentally dropping items while moving them between hands is too easy (maybe a dedicated “drop” zone would be better?).
In this early form, HYPERVIOLENT demonstrates a ton of potential – particularly for those that enjoy cosmic horror vibes and survival-horror mechanics – but this sizeable chunk of single-player content also demonstrates the need for mechanical tweaks and a lot of polish.
An Early Access preview code for HYPERVIOLENT was provided to gameblur by the publisher.